The most exciting trend at the start of the year was the shift in attitudes of several major players in the industry towards the traditional schedule of Fashion Weeks.
We are used to the main men's and women's collections being shown twice a year in New York, London, Milan and Paris. For the fashion press and buyers, this is four months of the year that they spend on suitcases. For designers, especially those who produce clothes for both men and women, this is at least four shows a year and an insane load. Four, if we're not talking about couture, cruise and off-season collections. Each of them, if not presented in a fashion show format, then at least comes out in the form of a lookbook. In general, there is a lot of work, but the beginning of 2016 is marked by a new trend. It seems that this familiar format has every chance of being forgotten.
Christopher Bailey and Burberry were among the first to support the new trend of combining shows. Now the brand will show only two collections a year: spring-summer and autumn-winter. For a home of this size, this is a great idea to combat the stress and fatigue of a client who just gets bored of watching classic trench coats every quarter.
But that is not all! An even more revolutionary step was the decision to send collections on sale immediately after the show. This will solve the problem of synchronization: you see and buy a trench coat just when the season starts, rather than waiting six months after the show. The advertising campaign will start at the same time, and with great activity in social media, rather than in print media.
Burberry's trend was backed by Tom Ford, Demna and Guram Gvasalia and Paul Smith. Designers repeat the words of Raf Simons, who, leaving Dior, complained about the lack of free time for creativity. Indeed, what kind of creativity and fresh ideas can we talk about when a designer needs to come up with, implement and release at least six collections a year!
So what do all these changes mean? By and large, not so many: the brands-initiators have to endure in this mode for several seasons in order to set a positive example for other industry players. When Christopher Bailey talks about the need for change, this is one thing, but imagine if the trend was supported by the conglomerate LVMH or Kering. However, they are unlikely to act recklessly, calculating the profit from each new collection, and will wait until the fashion system begins to change itself.
However, what is happening in the industry today is already a movement in the right direction. Designers are tired and want to take a break, which will of course be inspired by the examples of Ford, Bailey, Gvasalia and Smith. In addition, this will resolve the issue of overproduction. It will become easier for the client to navigate products and seasons, as well as to save money. The main thing is that the potential consumer will now feel that his opinion is taken into account, and this is another step on the path to loyalty.